The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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  The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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Lumine
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« Reply #100 on: August 23, 2019, 07:20:09 PM »
« edited: August 23, 2019, 07:23:18 PM by Lumine »

Player Crisis:
Boril I Asen:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Low

-An economic crisis has been temporarily averted after halting spending and borrowing money from different bankers, though at the cost of a great controversy due to the projects suspended – particularly those focused on delivering food –, and with the caveat that the bankers will expect to be re-payed (with interest) sooner rather than later, ending the situation only on a temporary basis. Thus, your treasurers wonder what you have in mind regarding the financial situation in the longer term, whether via a war of conquest that secures enough plunder, financial reforms or finding a way to secure a steadier source of revenue in order to fund the crown’s projects. What will you say (or order) to them?

-Despite the failure to appeal to the Latin nobility – their more prominent nobles taking up an anti-Bulgarian stance – Alexius Slav has successfully defected back into Bulgarian rule, although his armies and domains remain very much autonomous to the point of near independence. For the time being Alexius has maintained his nominal recognition of your rule and sent a messenger to propose an ambition project, pointing out that with the great weakness of the Latins and the absence of an Emperor in place Constantinople could be considered vulnerable. Thus, Alexius argues, a joint campaign could lead to the conquest of the city and the capture of its immense wealth, at the risk of facing the still significant Latin armies in the battlefield. What should be done regarding Alexius’s plan?

-The Bulgarian strategic situation greatly improved by the civil war and by bringing some of your unruly relatives on board – at least temporarily -, some wonder about the longer term strategy that should be pursued regarding the also rising Empire of Nicea, with Theodore Laskaris having steadily grown in power enough to pose a future challenge should he ever manage to absorb the decaying (but not yet finished) Latin Empire. There are those, of course, who argue a stable Bulgarian-Nicean alliance could well be an enormous benefit to be maintained, but others insist the Niceans could well become a problem should the old Byzantine Empire should ever be brought back from the dead. What would you have to say on the matter?

Jean of Brienne:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: Low

-Following a complicated struggle - and with the support of the Pope - you have managed to put down the attempt by John of Ibelin to claim the regency for himself, thus remaining regent for your infant son for the forseeable future. Still, Ibelin has his committed supporters and there is debate among the Outremer nobility regarding the level of authority the regent - and in the future, the king - should possess over the Kingdom, a complicated discussion left unsolved during the reign of your late wife. The nobility in the Kingdom has historically opposed royal centralization and been a formidable enemy to those who have attempted it, but it is believed by many Jerusalem might not prosper in the future unless  strong authority is reestablished. What will you do?

-In the aftermath of the attack on Rome and of the Ayyubid invasion of Cyprus the military orders have gathered to discuss the consequences of these developments, as well as the steps that should be taken for the future. Several prominent Templar and Hospitaller Knights believe an Ayyubid conquest of Cyprus would be an unmitigated disaster that should be avoided, which is coupled with a desire of revenge over the Rome attack and the interest of prominent nobles - like John of Ibelin - for saving the island. On the other hand, Jerusalem alone could hardly stand up against the Sultanate's greater military power, which makes for a difficult decision for you. What should the Kingdom of Jerusalem do regarding the Ayyubids?

-Over the past few months Bohemond of Antioch has been besieged at Antioch by Leo of Armenia in the latest development in the War of the Antiochene Succession. Trapped in the city Bohemond has constantly asked for support invoking previous instances of help from Jerusalen against Cilician Armenia, a kingdom which has only recently dropped a brief alliance with the Ayyubids. Should Bohemond and Antioch fall, Leo of Armenia will find himself much stronger and a potential threat to your kingdom, though intervention might prove troublesome in light of the Ayyubid situation and the potential for two different wars that might be very difficult to sustained. What will you say to Bohemond?

Al-Adil I:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: High

-Despite the relative success in securing alliances with other rulers in the region – Christian and Muslim – in the last two years, backlash resulting from the news of the attack on Rome (which up to this point is attributed to the Ayyubid Sultanate) has led to several European experts in Egypt attempting to abandon the region, a tense relationship with the trading cities of Italy and, most crucially, the loss of the alliance with Cilician Armenia after King Leo asserted to have received proof of Ayyubid diplomacy, a loss which might bring complications of its own. With yourself widely vilified across Europe and blamed for the attack, something which could very well result in a Crusade, how will you attempt to counter the present situation?

-Ayyubid troops have been successful in occupying half of Cyprus, thus it is predicted the second part of the campaign might prove complicated in light of several fortified positions in which the King of Cyprus and his men have taken refuge. Decisions on how to proceed with the invasion of the island – which has led to some backlash among non-Musims, even within the Coptic Church - might prove relevant in securing a rapid success to the campaign, the Sultanate also having to face the anger of the Almohad governors at Bedouin raids on their border – with angry missives demanding an immediate end to the raids -, and the continued siege of Antioch by Leo, who has now renounced the alliance with Egypt. What should be done?

-Recent efforts to boost the Alexandrian economy have been successful in terms of expanding local economic production, but a complicated issue has come up regarding trade. Despite being remarkably tempted by your offer, the Italian trading cities have nonetheless been forced to downplay economic links to the Sultanate in light of the Rome affair, in some cases reluctantly, in others with genuine anger at the attack. With the matter yet unresolved and amidst uncertainty European merchants are also believed to be seriously considering to stay away from Alexandria until there is clarity on the actual culprit of the attack and of the prospect of a Crusade, an issue that must be resolved in order for trade to continue in a normal manner (and conceivably expand).

 Kaykaus I:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: Very Low

-War appears to have been avoided once again, but it may well prove impossible for Rum to stay away from new conflicts taking place across the Near East and in Greece itself. As the Latin Empire continues to decay under civil war, and with Leo of Cilician Armenia – no longer an Ayyubid ally – still besieging Bohemond at Antioch, both conflicts are promoted by ambitious officers as being suitable grounds for an intervention by Rum, one which might yield desirable territorial gains. Adding to that is the issue of the Rome attack and the growing talk of a Crusade against the Ayyubid Sultanate, a war which Rum might find it difficult to avoid. What should be done regarding these current and possible wars?

-A lack of response regarding the increasingly critical financial situation has led to the treasury being almost depleted and in crisis as the army has expanded in size, a problematic situation which has also resulted in a loss of popularity and trust among some key nobles. With the treasury exhausted finding new sources of income – or disbanding most of the army – appears unavoidable, but there is great debate and disagreement as to whether financial support should be sought from the Ayyubids, gained through conquest and plunder, or obtained through new financial dispositions. What will you do regarding this crisis?

-With the Ayyubids coming under heavy criticism in Europe over their perceived responsibility on the attack on Rome, the strains put on their trading relationship has led some of the treasurers to suggest there is an opportunity to be exploited. Should the Sultan be unable to placate the Europeans and, particularly, the Italian trading cities, Rum could attempt to redirect some of that trade in order to gain a much needed source of steady income, as well as profit from expanded trade and the resulting development of ports in Rum-controlled Lycia, at the risk of potentially angering the Ayyubids. Should something like this be attempted?  

 Genghis Khan:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: High

-Another crucial victory has led to the siege of Zhongdu, your enemy Prince Wanyan having succumbed to the intrigues of his generals and replaced by the new emperor Xuanzong, with the energetic and bold eunuch Heshilie Zhizhong attempting to rally the Jin armies into renewed resistance against the invasion. Although Zhongdu was greatly weakened in the sack a few months ago the walls stand tall, the population appears determined to resist and a new disease has spread across the Mongol camp, somewhat weakening some soldiers. There is division in your war council regarding what to do next, as some wonder if Zhongdu can truly be captured in light of its immense walls and garrison, and others question whether the Jin are on the verge of collapse or still possess the strength to counter attack.

-Your brother Hachiun is dead, his raid on the Kingdom of Goryeo having failed after being heavily outnumbered by the shocked targets of the raid. Far from intimidating the Korean ruler and his generals, the Kingdom of Goryeo has denounced this raid as an unforgivable act of aggression and betrayal, and they have declared war on the Empire. Already there is talk of the armies of Goryeo mobilizing on the border and potentially entering Northern Jin, where Liu-Ke and the Khitans have achieved great success against the weakened Jin armies. With this potential ally now turned into an enemy, what should be done about Goryeo?  

-Following his exile by Shah Mohammed after a failed rebellion, prince Uthman of the Karakhanids has undertaken a dangerous but successful trip across the Tangut kingdom of Xi Xia, your ally the Emperor Shenzong sending him to your camp within the Jin Empire. Uthman and his companions have appeared before you and requested refuge in the Mongol Empire amidst promises of undying loyalty, telling dark tales of the tyranny of the Shah and arguing they would be useful to the Great Khan on his campaigns of conquest. Taking Uthman as a companion or a subordinate might indeed have its uses, though the unspoken factor – as no one would dare voice it openly – is that the Shah might well take it as an insult should the rebel be granted refuge. What will you do with Uthman?

Mohammed II:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: High

-Some of your generals have raised the prospect of a new war of conquest in the short-term, arguing victory against the rebellion and the successful installation of Kuchlug are enough to secure some of the borders of the Empire and thus allow expansion elsewhere. Debate continues among them on whether an ambitious intervention on the Ghurid Empire – whose Sultan Baha al-Din Sam is currently under attack by the other Ghurid princes – would be the most appropriate target, or whether Azerbaijan and the Atabegs should be targeted as new vassals to bring under Khwarezmian control, a successful conquest of Azerbaijan further opening the door to the west at a time in which the Ayyubid border is still indispensable in other to reach other regions. Will the Empire go to war?

-In light of your considerable achievements and the growth of the Empire in power and influence you have assumed the title of Shah, although this decision lacks the formal recognition of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad. Caliph An-Nasir has been a constant enemy of your family over a large number of years, even confronting your father in the past. Although currently the Caliph’s only overt sign of hostility is his mistreatment of some pilgrims that come to Baghdad from the Khwarezmian Empire, his apparent military weakness has led some – particularly Jalal ad-Din, your son and heir – to push for action to get the Caliph to formally recognize you, or to replace him with a more compliant one. Will you take action regarding Baghdad?

-Despite the enormous distance news of the attack on Rome and of the potential Crusade have reached the Empire, opening up an interesting question as to what might happen next. With the role of the Ayyubids on the matter not clarified – but with some Clerics either distrusting the accusation against the Sultan or cheering on him – there are those who wonder if the Ayyubid Sultan should be supported with reinforcements if attacked by a crusader army, and those who suggest neutrality in such a war might be a preferable course of action against creating new enemies in the west. What will you do regarding the Ayyubids?
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #101 on: August 24, 2019, 02:22:13 AM »

PAPAL BULL, Pueri sanctitudini

Each member of our Papal Guard lately fallen in the protection of our person against heathen violence is hereby beatified among the holy martyrs.

We shall hold a mass in celebration of our lost youths' high place of honour in Heaven, and pray long upon the most righteous course to follow in protection of their memory and of all Christendom.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Pontifex Maximus
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« Reply #102 on: August 26, 2019, 01:36:58 AM »

Quote
Treaty of Zaragoza
1. The Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon agree to the establishment of a formal peace.
2. The King of Aragon shall remain under Castilian custody to protect him from malicious advisers until peace should ensue between the King of Sicily and the Pope.
3. The King of Aragon agrees to banish all those councilors that had deceived him into pursuing a disastrous foreign policy.
4. The King of Aragon agrees to rescind all diplomatic and military support to the Pope, and pledges to offer no further support to His Holiness while the current war lasts.
5. The King of Aragon agrees to allow Castilian troops access through all Aragonese territory, and permits them to station or garrison themselves throughout the Kingdom; in order that they may prevent forces hostile to the King from ever again corrupting royal government.
6. The King of Aragon agrees to aid and accompany the King of Castile in any war which the Castilian King participates in; so that Spanish foreign policy may never again be divided.
7. The Kingdoms of Sicily and Aragon agree to the establishment of a formal peace.
8. The King of Aragon agrees to ceded Barcelona, henceforth to be called Fredericksburg, to the King of Sicily.

x King Alfonso VIII
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #103 on: August 26, 2019, 02:32:33 AM »

His Holiness denounces the wicked ravishment of a Christian kingdom and Papal fief by two proud and worldly princes, one himself a disobedient Papal vassal and the other an ungrateful recent recipient of Papal aid in gold and diplomacy. The King of Castile will be excommunicated unless he disavows his traitor’s treaty forthwith, and the Cardinal Regent of Montearagon is urged that if he countersigns it the consequences will be truly dire.

Innocent III
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #104 on: August 26, 2019, 02:44:24 AM »

His Holiness also notes with regret this fresh evidence of the young king of Sicily’s lunacy, purloining Christian capitals by surprise in the night and naming them after himself like some pagan despot of old. How can such actions be tolerated in one who has dared to aspire to headship of Christian empire?
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Chancellor Tanterterg
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« Reply #105 on: August 26, 2019, 08:53:57 AM »
« Edited: August 26, 2019, 08:59:00 AM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

His Holiness also notes with regret this fresh evidence of the young king of Sicily’s lunacy, purloining Christian capitals by surprise in the night and naming them after himself like some pagan despot of old. How can such actions be tolerated in one who has dared to aspire to headship of Christian empire?

As His Holiness is no doubt well aware, Fredericksburg is not the capitol of Aragon.  Moreover, I was as reluctant as any man in Europe to see the city renamed and yet its people demanded it, so great was their appreciation for their liberation that they may now count themselves among the subjects of Europe's Christian kings.  Moreover, it is a pity that His Holiness plainly has yet to make any inquiries into the cause of this act for if he had, he would have doubtless discovered for himself that I was not the one who struck first.  In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Quote
Treaty of Zaragoza
1. The Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon agree to the establishment of a formal peace.
2. The King of Aragon shall remain under Castilian custody to protect him from malicious advisers until peace should ensue between the King of Sicily and the Pope.
3. The King of Aragon agrees to banish all those councilors that had deceived him into pursuing a disastrous foreign policy.
4. The King of Aragon agrees to rescind all diplomatic and military support to the Pope, and pledges to offer no further support to His Holiness while the current war lasts.
5. The King of Aragon agrees to allow Castilian troops access through all Aragonese territory, and permits them to station or garrison themselves throughout the Kingdom; in order that they may prevent forces hostile to the King from ever again corrupting royal government.
6. The King of Aragon agrees to aid and accompany the King of Castile in any war which the Castilian King participates in; so that Spanish foreign policy may never again be divided.
7. The Kingdoms of Sicily and Aragon agree to the establishment of a formal peace.
8. The King of Aragon agrees to ceded Barcelona, henceforth to be called Fredericksburg, to the King of Sicily.

x King Alfonso VIII

x Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #106 on: August 26, 2019, 12:42:06 PM »

His Holiness also notes with regret this fresh evidence of the young king of Sicily’s lunacy, purloining Christian capitals by surprise in the night and naming them after himself like some pagan despot of old. How can such actions be tolerated in one who has dared to aspire to headship of Christian empire?

As His Holiness is no doubt well aware, Fredericksburg is not the capitol of Aragon.  Moreover, I was as reluctant as any man in Europe to see the city renamed and yet its people demanded it, so great was their appreciation for their liberation that they may now count themselves among the subjects of Europe's Christian kings.  Moreover, it is a pity that His Holiness plainly has yet to make any inquiries into the cause of this act for if he had, he would have doubtless discovered for himself that I was not the one who struck first.  In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.  Amen.

x Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen

His Holiness recalls how well loved the King of Sicily's grandfather was in Lombardy. To that love Italy owes the fair city of Alessandria, named for Pope Alexander III. Have a care, proud kinglet, and listen well to your old governor, the feudal superior both of Aragon and Sicily.
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DKrol
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« Reply #107 on: August 27, 2019, 01:18:09 AM »

A Decree By Genghis Khan
To Be Spread by Merchants, Travelers, Nomads, Priests, Monks, and Other Travelling People

Quote
Prince Uthman of the Karakhanids has been received at my court. After speaking with Prince Uthman and praying on his plea, I have decided to welcome him into my court as a friend and companion as I would any other honest man of the tent. He is good and loyal and will serve our great Empire well.

It is my belief, and the belief of my advisors, that welcoming Prince Uthman into my court is not a violation of the pact between myself and Emperor Kuchlug of the Qara Khitai because there is no subversive or deceitful intent behind my welcoming Prince Uthman. I am simpling extending the benefits of friendship to a man of the tent, a wanderer, a traveler, a man seeking shelter and comfort. What Khan would not extend such kindness?
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #108 on: August 27, 2019, 06:10:36 AM »

THE MATTER OF ENGLAND

King John is formally readmitted back into the loving embrace of the Mother Church.

THE MATTER OF CYPRUS AND THE CRUSADE

The Pope formally admits a grave fault, that in attempting to negotiate for the peace of Antioch and of Jerusalem, he allowed it to be intimated to the paynim Sultan that Cyprus, a Christian kingdom, was of less immediate concern to him than those ancient and sacred cities.

For this the Holy Father has paid dearly in the blood of Rome, and makes daily further penance by scourging, fasting and silent prayer.

He shall now not rest until Cyprus is clean of invaders, and Christendom avenged of the evil one's malpractices. The Sultan claims his innocence in the affair of Rome, but the Papacy is as yet unconvinced. The Sultan claims to be impotent to control his own lackeys and allies in the ravishment of Cyprus, and Pope Innocent would laugh, were the hour less grave.

May Christendom come together in joyous might to redress such insupportable impudence.

- Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #109 on: August 27, 2019, 10:12:01 AM »

Now Beats The Drums of War

Let every nation know, from London to Rome, from Toledo to Jerusalem, from Arabia to China and Japan: any nation that dares ally with the attackers of the Great Sultan shall face destruction and death. We have sought peace, but the False High Priest sought not only our cooperation. He sought to have Egypt coerce its own allies, as though he has some claim upon Sultan Al-Adil and the allies of the Great Sultan.

In the same vein, as there shall be no peace for those who attack Egypt, there shall be peace for the Arab and the Copt and all my people. I decree sacred sanctuary - should Egyptian soil be touched, let every civilian and badly wounded soldier retreat to mosques, churches, synagogues, madrasas, temples, and any such religious building. I defy the Pope himself to burn such places.

As for this new Crusade? The Pope’s own words of hesitance testify concerning its legitimacy. Woe to those People of the Book led astray by blatant falsehoods, but their foolhardiness shall be repaid in full, in blood.
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« Reply #110 on: August 27, 2019, 12:17:45 PM »
« Edited: August 27, 2019, 09:55:10 PM by sjoyce »

A warning
To be delivered to my friend Genghis, the Great Khan of the Mongols, and to be spread across Transoxania
Quote
The court of the Shah of Khwarezm has learned that the man known as Uthman, who styles himself Prince of the Karakhanids, has been welcomed into the court of the Great Khan. The Shah accepts the Khan’s word that he is merely welcoming Uthman into the tent and does not consider this a violation of our pact.

Nevertheless, the Shah feels it necessary to warn the Khan: when in the service of the Shah, Uthman led a revolt in the city of Samarkand and massacred the loyal garrison. While he had a place of honor in my retinue, he nonetheless plotted against the Shah and sought to destroy our power. We feel it necessary to warn the Khan, so that he may avoid the same fate.

On the Crusade
Let it be known: the Shah of Khwarazm shall not permit the Holy City of Jerusalem to fall into the possession of those who do not worship Allah.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #111 on: August 28, 2019, 11:16:58 AM »

THE DECLARATION OF THE FIFTH CRUSADE

Speech by Pope Innocent III at Anagni

"Kings have fallen upon kings. Cities have been raided. Regicide has been attempted. The Church has been slandered. Christians have been butchered. And Rome herself has blazed.

"Alas for Christendom, rotten with sin and sorrow, but salvation is at hand. It has been revealed to me, the Holy Father, who took the name Innocenzo in a pale echo of the spotlessness of Our Lord.

"We are only as strong, as wholesome, as enriched, as the most desperate and vulnerable among us. Across the seas, a small island kingdom is being oppressed by heathens and traitors to our creed, the same who enacted the outrage upon our Eternal and Imperial city of Rome, sacred to the Apostles Peter and Paul.

"This is no time for the children of Christ to bespatter one another in the gutters of depravity. I beseech, urge and command each knight, each man at arms, each Christian of strength and valour, to betake himself to the shore and mark himself with the cross.

"Beside the waters, as did Our Lord at the Baptist's hands beside Jordan, each Christian will find what he has long sought. Once embarked, we shall redeem the Middle Sea to as cleanly, lawful and orderly a state as ever did any pagan Caesar. We will save the gallant King of Cyprus and guard our precious common inheritance of Outremer. We will avenge the wrongs of the heathen and forget the quarrels that have sundered us. And we shall look upon the birthright of Our Saviour.

"Should any plain man, any great lord, any Christian prince find himself in displeasure with our Papal seat on whatsoever cause, let him pledge himself to assist the Crusade forthwith without let, hindrance, or condition, and his offences shall be wiped out as he rises anew in our closest friendship, and the loving embrace of the living God.

DEUS LE VULT!"

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« Reply #112 on: August 28, 2019, 02:35:44 PM »

THE LIES OF THE POPE, AND A CALL TO ARMS

Speech by Sultan Al-Adil in Alexandria

”Today, a vile demon threatens us with lies and deceit. Less than a hundred Egyptians, mercenaries, hired behind a hidden power, attacked the Unholy See. For this, many Kings, Princes, and men of God, Christian and Muslim, have written me me, assuring me they know that truly Egypt would not benefit from an attack on Pope Innocent.

“Pope Innocent befriended me with kindness. Understanding the great slights of Cyprus against my nation and myself, he agreed that it was hardly against God’s will to take it - an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. He told me privately and proclaimed publicly the worth of my name! A king of knightly renown, he called me; an example indeed to his own followers, the princes of Europe. For this kindness, I assured him of the eternal friendship of Egypt.

“Now, he has betrayed me. His own words, he knows the truth: he has not lied before God and boldly accused me of the Lie, that I attacked my greatest friend in Europe. I benefitted not from his death or his weakness, as under the terms of our friendship and agreements were cleverly so organized, that neither of us gains ever from the other losing.

“Indeed! In this attack, I benefited not one drop. Every other enemy has benefited from this, but me, for I was not an enemy. Indeed! Many would say that, even in the tragedy, every single one of the Pope’s enemies at home perished, and now all his followers back him. Strangely, he now attacks the only King alive who did not benefit from this raid, and in the number of beneficiaries, I exempt not one European prince, not even the Pope himself. Despite this, he betrayed my trust and proffered friendship, solely because Cyprus is by rights mine, as he himself said.

“Now then! I call on all Egyptians to unite against this attack against me and against us. He cares not if you are a Jew, a Copt, or a Muslim; a Kurd, an Arab, a Turk, or an Italian. In every other Crusade, and it shall be the same in this, you and I, the people of Egypt, have seen our neighbors butchered, raped, and, indeed, eaten for defending our land and ourselves and one another. Join our forces, our armies, our garrisons, or else we shall surely perish.

“I call upon all of you again! Defend the glory of the hour! Let red flags be lifted up whenever an enemy is seen, that our enemies and all the world may know: we shall never surrender, not until the last drop of blood of the city is shed in its defense. There shall be no surrender; our enemies slaughter those who surrender after pledging not to with pretty words. With my own eyes, I have seen, and my own ears have heard, the horrors they visit upon us. For the sake of all of us, let us never surrender!”
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« Reply #113 on: August 28, 2019, 02:53:12 PM »
« Edited: August 29, 2019, 04:59:10 AM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

"I have been - as ever - deep in prayer and have through Him gained a wisdom which I pray shall allow me to be an ever better instrument of His will.  European Christendom is nothing if not a family, for are we not all brothers in Christ?  And yet even among the closest of families, there are all too oft the bitterest of quarrels.  And yet these squabbles pale in comparison to the dangers we all face whenever barbaric bandits descend upon us.  Like any family facing a foe who has risen straight from the fiery depths of Hell, we must all unite as one for a house divided cannot stand.  I call upon all of my fellow brothers in Christ to put aside their petty power games and join this glorious crusade against the Muhammedinian menace!  

I myself shall take the first step and lead by example as any man who would call himself Emperor surely must.  I pray that by doing so, I may ensure that our Father in heaven shall take two steps toward me.  If I have made so much as a single slanderous statement about His Holiness - one claim that lacks basis in fact - I say Mea Culpa.  I do not deny nor renounce my claim, but I recognize that all of Christendom must unite against the vile barbarians at our gates!  I am thankful that His Holiness is wise enough to have recognized the wicked world of Muhmmadinian sin, greed, corruption, and avarice for what it is: the single greatest threat to European Christendom.  The wicked must not go unpunished and so it shall be for those responsible for the Rape of Rome.  As penitence for any slander I may have even unintentionally spoken against His Holiness, though the King of Aragon attempted to assassinate me, I shall cede the occupied territory back to Aragon.  And if I committed the sin of pride by renaming Barcelona 'Fredericksburg' then I now say Mea Maxima Culpa.  

I do not say that all of Egypt's Muhammadinians are savage serpents with scaly claws for fingers, forked tongues, and drool pouring down their four-fanged mouthes whenever they catch sight of a Christian child at play.  Mayhaps there are even those among you who may think you know your own decent Muhammidian who has yet to knife you in the back like the cleverest of that fiendish jackal pack which Satan did inflict upon humanity.  Some of them, I assume, are good people.  I do not even say every Muhammidinian in the Evil Empire of Egypt must die for their Godless Sultan's part in the Rape of Rome.  I merely say that they should go back where they came from and that if they won't go willingly, then it is the Christian man's burden to cast them back into the fiery pit of Hell ourselves!  

My brothers in Christ, I have heard the calling of The Lord!  The time has come to take Jerusalem back and so we shall expel this heathen horde.  Before we're overrun by these heretics, we must attack!  They raped Rome and so now we must set aside our petty political disputes and remember that we are all brothers in Christ and what is more, every one of us is his brother's keeper.  Whatever disagreements I've had with His Holiness and whomever may be at fault in those matters, it matters not at all.  We must unite against the heretical heathen hordes, avenge the Rape of Rome, and liberate the Holy Land once and for all!  In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Amen."
- Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #114 on: August 28, 2019, 06:08:07 PM »
« Edited: August 28, 2019, 06:12:38 PM by Kingpoleon »

Regarding Antioch

Whereas Leo, traitorous King of Armenia, has renounced his alliance with myself and my people;
Whereas the same has attacked Antioch, without just cause or reason that will stand when war is done;
Whereas I am the Defender of Jerusalem and Antioch, Protector of Cyprus;

I do hereby proclaim that I and any true Christian or Muslim who joins me in liberating Antioch is heartily welcome. Many of my own people, People of the Book, fear what shall happen if Antioch falls into the hands of a foreign tyrant. May I never leave a small principality that I call myself Defender of alone against this treacherous King. I am in grave danger myself, but I shall liberate the state which the Pope and most of Christendom seems to ignore. Let us free Antioch. Long live the Sultan! Long live Antioch!
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #115 on: August 29, 2019, 04:34:55 AM »
« Edited: August 29, 2019, 05:03:44 AM by Garlan Gunter »

REGARDING THE KING OF SICILY'S LATE REPENTANCE

The Papacy notes King Frederick's return to the light with some little surprise but far more joy; there is more celebration in heaven for the return of one lost lamb than for the constant pasture of an obedient flock, after all.

However, His Holiness notes that King Frederick must return the city of Barcelona - and cease any further reference to it by its absurd usurped name - before his pledge as a true king of the Crusade can be trusted or accepted.

Addendum by special Papal messenger - this good deed of restitution to Aragon has now been ordered to the Pope's satisfaction and King Frederick is accordingly welcomed in fulness and gladness to the Crusade, the first monarch formally to take the Cross since our Declaration.


REGARDING THE SLEIGHTS OF THE HEATHEN

The Sultan has proven beyond doubt that he cannot be trusted with the bodies or the souls of any true Christians. Those he betrayed most vilely whilst pretending to befriend include King Leo of Armenia and, spectacularly, ourselves in the attack upon Rome.

The regent of Jerusalem and any Christian lords lately blandished into joining in any agreement with him against Cyprus or recognition of his ill practice there are both urged and commanded to desist from any act of friendship with this hypocritical fiend who cloaks himself in a mockery of chivalry. His gifts may seem fair and his power dread, but the might of Christendom united shall soon deprive either of value.


STATEMENT OF PAPAL INTENT

So that there be no further doubt in this matter, we ourselves, Innocent III, once known in the world as Lotario de' Conti and now Holy Father of the Church, bearer of the Fisherman's Ring, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles and Pontifex Maximus, shall ourself take the cross and lend our authority, most high under Our Lord, to the Crusade. Though we are but young in military affairs we trust in commanders enough, but believe our unquestioned seniority shall invigorate the holy pilgrimage with clarity of purpose and passion of heart.

Declared at Anagni, Innocent III
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King Saul
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« Reply #116 on: August 29, 2019, 08:25:54 PM »

Pronouncement of the Regent King of Jerusalem:

The Kingdom of Jerusalem joins the war efforts of the Defender of Jerusalem and Antioch and Protector of Cyprus, joining the military campaign against King Leo of Armenia.

Signed,

King Regent Jean de Brienne of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #117 on: August 30, 2019, 06:11:48 AM »

THE TRAGIC DECEPTION OF JERUSALEM

We are sorely grieved by the apparent gullibility of Jean de Brienne, previously our most loyal son in Christ and protege upon earth, and pray that he learns wisdom less bloodily than we perforce did ourselves. We naturally deplore any effusion of Christian blood by Christian hands at this time and take the Kingdom of Jerusalem under our special protection, forbidding any Crusaders to attack that holy shore and imploring the regent to return to the light of his own accord, as has the young and wise King Frederick. The Grand Masters of the Military Orders are of course countermanded with their knights from serving the designs of the Sultan in any way or for any purpose, even should the regent try to command this.

THE LIFTING OF ONE INTERDICT

Immediately upon the return of Barcelona to Aragon Sicily is naturally to be welcomed back into Christendom with all proper and meet rejoicing.

OTHER OBDURACIES AND EXCOMMUNICATIONS

Since the King of Castile has sadly neither renounced his wicked treaty nor responded to our communications, he is with great sorrow and regret excommunicated and deposed, with every true Christian king permitted to make war upon his unjust rule until he comes to repentance. Since the fault is the King's alone Castile shall not be placed under Interdict.

The King of Denmark has also failed to respond to Papal messengers and is likewise excommunicated and deposed until he be overthrown or brought to repentance. Like the Castilians, the Danish people are held blameless Christians in this matter and shall not be punished at this time, only urged to dethrone their tyrannous ruler.

REJOICING TOWARDS CHRISTIAN UNITY

Upon the receipt of encouraging messages from the Eastern Churches, His Holiness announces a forthcoming, Council of the Church, to be held after the victorious conclusion of the Crusade. Such a Council will discuss Church unity and reform, the protection of the Christian East, and the occupancy and succession of the Western and most Holy Roman Empire, yet to be confirmed by its electors among the bishops and princes.

Declared at Ostia,

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, High Commander of the Crusade, Pontifex Maximus
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windjammer
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« Reply #118 on: September 03, 2019, 05:29:16 AM »

Statement from the King of France

The King of France is pleased to announce that he's joining the Holy Crusade against the infidels. With the consent of the Pope, the King of France will initially build a powerful fleet  and as soon as the heretics are defeated in Occitania he will depart to the Holy Land to join the effort.

xKing Philippe Auguste
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #119 on: September 03, 2019, 05:41:05 AM »

The Holy Father welcomes the most Christian King of France to the Crusade with much rejoicing. King Philippe, a hero of the Siege of Acre, will doubtless lend both authority and experience to the emprise.

Every monarch, prince, noble and landed knight of Christendom is hereby reminded that if they take the Cross, their property's safety will be considered a sacred charge under Papal protection in their absence.

Innocent III, Holy Father, etc
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« Reply #120 on: September 03, 2019, 05:48:15 PM »

Quote
The Bulgarian and the Nicaean Empire, the latter the true heirs to the Roman Empire, hereby agree to a formal, binding alliance in matters of state and armed combat. Should one party face aggression from an external threat, either party shall resolve to defend the other. In this we agree to defend our Orthodox brothers wherever they may be and attack the influence of those who have usurped the rightful rulers of the late Roman Empire. In all affairs, we agree to meet an equitable settlement. This treaty shall be enshrined in perpetuity or until its two signatories no longer exist.

X Tsar Boril I Asen
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YPestis25
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« Reply #121 on: September 03, 2019, 08:37:19 PM »

Quote
The Bulgarian and the Nicaean Empire, the latter the true heirs to the Roman Empire, hereby agree to a formal, binding alliance in matters of state and armed combat. Should one party face aggression from an external threat, either party shall resolve to defend the other. In this we agree to defend our Orthodox brothers wherever they may be and attack the influence of those who have usurped the rightful rulers of the late Roman Empire. In all affairs, we agree to meet an equitable settlement. This treaty shall be enshrined in perpetuity or until its two signatories no longer exist.

X Tsar Boril I Asen
x Theodore I Lascaris, in Christ, Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #122 on: September 04, 2019, 05:49:14 AM »

Cardinal Ugolino de' Conti is elevated and dispatched to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Conrad of Urach, Abbot of Villers from the county of Brabant in the Holy Roman Empire, is named to the College of Cardinals.

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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #123 on: September 04, 2019, 06:47:00 AM »

PAPAL BULL, Militia maris

Any Christian captain who captures an Egyptian vessel will be entitled to claim a reward if he delivers his prize to the Crusade, equivalent to double that ship's value, payable out of the tithes of Holy Church.

Any Christian captain who is attested by twelve lay witnesses or any cleric to have destroyed an Egyptian vessel shall be granted a bounty equivalent to the value of his own ship, payable out of the tithes of Holy Church.

All such captains shall be granted the indulgences and privileges of the Crusade, and all the trading concessions presently accorded to a merchant vessel of the Italian League.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Protector of St Peter's Waters
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Lumine
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« Reply #124 on: September 05, 2019, 07:14:19 PM »

Mid-1214 Update

Fifth Crusade!
New crusaders sign up by the thousands,
Papal punishments bring mixed results,
Sultan struggles to find friends in Christendom

In the aftermath of the attack on Rome the visceral reactions from Christian realms regarding the even continued to manifest themselves, outrage towards the perceived violation of the Holy City leading to growing instances of violence within larger cities against foreigners suspected of being “Saracens” and other groups or individuals seen as heretic or untrustworthy. The Papacy wasted little time in skillfully exploiting the general outrage, declaring a Fifth Crusade against the Ayyubid Sultan as tales from Cyprus denounce the “rape of the island” from the Saracens (claims forcefully denied by Muslim merchants who have visited the island). Pope Innocent went even further, fully deploying the Papacy’s considerable assets to mobilize the Crusade while announcing the Pope himself would take part in the ambitious enterprise, which would be followed by a general council of the Church.

As hundreds of Rome’s inhabitants’ volunteer in the ranks of the Papal forces – the city presently united behind the Pope -, Papal envoys and legates departed to several corners of Europe to raise forces for the Crusade. Although the enormous distances involved in this affair mean the recruitment efforts will take months – if not years – large numbers of volunteers have been reported in the British Islands, across Germany, Brittany and Flanders, and the German Children Crusaders have seen their ranks further grow outside Genoa – to the city’s great annoyance - as they demand immediate naval transport to the Holy Land. Alas, controversy seems to be growing both in Venice, currently under great pressure on whether to commit to the Crusade; and in Occitania, where several Occitanian nobles – even Raymond of Toulouse - have reportedly demonstrated an interest in taking the cross in exchange for a settlement of sorts.

The Pope has also taken drastic action regarding the wars in Scandinavia and Aragon, formally excommunicating both the Danish and Castilian King amidst great controversy. Although it appears Denmark is not yet greatly affected – though the effect in Pomerania remains unknown – Castile has experienced a decidedly mixed situation, with parts of the clergy and neighboring kingdoms rebuking King Alfonso as the nobility, merchants and his army strongly side with the King in support for the war. Finally, the Sultan has achieved some success in having the local Coptic Church in Egypt assert his innocence on the Rome matter and survived a potentially dangerous situation as his nephew Al-Afdal publically denounced having been approached by what Al-Afdal asserts are papal agents at the service of Rome, attempting to get him to depose the Sultan. Still, the Sultan suffers from a general disbelief of his explanation for the Rome situation across Europe, most Christian realms and cities outright blaming him for the attack and his commercial overtures to some trading cities being publically rejected.

The Imperial Struggle
Otto IV goes missing? Emperor not seen in weeks,
Papal-Hohenstaufen feud comes to an apparent end,
Austrian, Bohemian and Bavarian Electors switch back to Frederick

Although Otto IV had seemingly gained the upper hand over Frederick following the Treaty of Ancona and the newly found papal support against his rival, the events of the following months appeared to once again alter the balance of power, and this time to the benefit of the Hohenstaufens. Despite being urged by his supporters to move against Frederick, and by other rulers to take in a series of important conflicts, Otto became more and more withdrawn from the world as days and weeks passed by, and before long the Emperor was permanent out of sight amidst rapidly growing rumors of an illness or some sort of ploy. Otto’s disappearance has led to most of his army in Ancona starting to dissolve, many of his supporters marching to Rome to join the Crusade.

The lack of engagement from the Emperor severely hindered the Welfs in attempting to gain formal recognition across the Empire, and unexpectedly enabled the Hohenstaufens to make their own move. Despite widespread fears of a war between Rome and Sicily that would have split the Peninsula apart, the surprising reconciliation between Pope Innocent and Frederick of Sicily led to another change in the political situation, the tension in Southern Italy rapid decreasing as Frederick was apparent hailed by Churchmen as a prodigal son returning home. The restoration in the relationship has seemingly removed another crucial obstacle to the Pope’s Crusade, the new situation allowing the Papacy to successfully recruit prominent warrior Diepold of Acerra – former Hohenstaufen and Welf supporter – as another of the new Crusader leaders.

The apparent end of the struggle between the Papacy and the Hohenstaufens had also removed one of the biggest problems Frederick faced when it came to the undecided Imperial Electors, many of which had now been further alienated to the Welf cause by Otto’s inactivity and now lack of visibility. With the reconciliation appearing to signal that the Hohenstaufens were once again a cause worth fighting for, diplomatic efforts from the young King of Sicily proved successful – if relatively controversial among some -, and overtures to several of the electors resulted in a decisive announcement from the Bohemian King, the Duke of Austria and the Duke of Bavaria: the three electors would once again recognize Frederick as Holy Roman Emperor, and support deposing Otto in favor of the Sicilian King.

Changing of the Guard?
Eleanor Plantagent lands in Brittany amidst celebrations
William the Lion dead, Alexander II new King of Scotland,
Tamar of Georgia dies after illness, George IV becomes Georgian King

After months of confusion and doubt regarding the controversial Treaty of Dover, England saw widespread celebration upon the news that the Treaty had finally been ratified and the Papal-Plantagenet relationship restored to normalcy, an end to years of struggle which many had deplored or resented as the conflict extended without an end in sight. A crucial consequence of this announcement was the decision of King John to finally release her niece Eleanor, the “Pearl of Brittany”, from extended captivity in England in order to deliver her to the Breton nobles who had called for her release for so long. Having kept her beauty and her resolute personality despite twelve years of seclusion, Eleanor landed on her Duchy and received a warm welcome, being recognized as the rightful Duchess of a thus far independent Brittany. What the future may bring for the Duchy remains unclear, but with the escape of the former Duchess and her family to Paris some believe the conflict for Brittany may resume at a later date.

Alas, the perceived “changing of the guard” has extended to more realms, owning to the natural or violent death of several rulers and the subsequent fallout from separate conflicts. Both William the Lion, King of Scotland; and Tamar the Great, Queen of Georgia perished during the early months of the year due to separate illnesses, their long reigns leaving a lasting mark on Scotland – still subordinated to English power – and Georgia – now a powerful player in the Near East – as new monarchs Alexander II (Scotland) and George IV (Georgia) are formally crowned. More confusing situations are taking place across the Almohad Caliphate, left without a ruler after the assassination of the victorious Caliph; and in the Latin Empire, whose emperor committed suicide after the start of an uncontrollable civil war. In Iberia the relatives of the Caliph have set up an uneasy balance of power under a regency for the young Caliph, but are reported to be experiencing internal conflicts of their own in the new conquered lands and due to the recent assassination, the new Grand Vizier cryptically announcing to foreign ambassadors the Caliphate is confident of having identified the culprit.

As to the Latins, a Papal intervention is to take place after the arrival of new Papal regent Stefano de Conti - in the absence of the Emperor – and of a new Latin Patriarch, an appointment which hasn’t ended a bloody civil war and the growing number of Orthodox uprisings. Although the new Regent has successfully arrived and established himself in Thessaloniki and appears to be in decent terms with the powerful Venetian Podesta it is not clear how the local nobility will react, or whether Constantinople itself will welcome the temporary Regent.
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